#TEDTalkTuesday: Keep your goals to yourself

It’s been long overdue (it’s been sitting in my drafts folder for about two weeks now!), but for my first featured talk this year, I’ll be doing a very quick one: the talk is just a little over three minutes long. And yes, Derek Sivers’¬†Keep your goals to yourself is worth your time! ūüėČ

(It’s a short talk but it sparked tons of realizations for me!)

We’ve read articles about it and have heard people talk about it:¬†You should share your plans and goals! That way you’d feel more compelled to do them.

In general, I don’t practice this advice but¬†I do get its¬†point. We’ll feel accountable when we announce things for we would get a little more pressure from our peers (whether they remind us of our words or not) to produce outcomes. We’re pushed to the finish line by the¬†underlying (and haunting) thought that¬†not being able to deliver will severely hurt our image and credibility.

Well, yeah.¬†It’s always got something to do with our pride.

Also, it’s¬†appealing to imagine¬†that when we actually achieve what we say/said,¬†there will be these people guaranteed to applaud or commend us because they know what we’ve been¬†doing. They know, so they’ll cheer us on, right?

Ah! But…¬†for whom are we really aspiring for? For whom will we be doing what we want to do? Hmmm…

I invite you to answer those two questions first before deciding whether you should share your new year’s resolutions or not.

If your reason for sharing is so that when you do it, you’ll be recognized for the deed, then please–by all means–don’t. I assure you, you’ll get the proper recognition that you deserve whether you broadcast your plans or not.

But if your reason for sharing is to show your audacious faith and courage¬†for your plans, then please–by all means–do so.

Here’s why: I think there’s a huge difference between the¬†people having these two different perspectives. For the former, they seek to glorify themselves. Tsk. That’s a sure way to fail, I tell you. So, no; I won’t encourage you to do that. But for the latter, they seek to glorify God. And oh! That’s the only sure way to succeed, I tell you!

It’s the same act but of different roots, I know. But¬†I personally believe that where you anchor your motives actually determines the success rate of your actions. (Have you seen the local film¬†Honor Thy Father? If not, try to catch it. That film truly embodies what I just said.)

Also, I’d say it’s supposed to be as simple as this: say what you mean and mean what you say¬†a hundred percent.¬†If you won’t, then hush.

Here’s an example of what I suggest: Instead of saying¬†I’ll eat healthier this year, you may say¬†I’ll replace the white rice with brown rice in my diet. Because let’s face it: if you haven’t been preparing for at least a couple of days or weeks by portioning your food or switching to a vegetarian diet, then you won’t magically have the body state (or even the mental strength) to¬†switch at all. And you may do the rice switch¬†and still not give up your junk food addiction.¬†So which of the two statements are you most likely to be able to abide¬†a hundred percent?

I propose that instead of having an overly-generalized target, we should keep our goals as specific as possible. Not an original idea, I know, but I also have to remind myself of this, too.

Well back to the talk’s main point (whether or not it’s actually beneficial to share your goals or not), I actually prefer to surprise people with what I’ve already accomplished with God’s grace. If they get to notice what I did, I’ll be flattered and humbled. If not, I’m still glad and will be deeply honored!¬†Why? I believe that the¬†there’s only one audience that I should please:

My Lord. By whom I can do anything, and for whom I do everything.

Sure, I’d share my goals in the hopes of receiving encouragements and prayers. But I won’t ever share them for the sake of having someone monitor my progress or prod me. I’ve already got the Big Guy up there to do that for me. He’s all the motivation that I’ll ever need.


Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life;
    he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing,
    while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.

Proverbs 13:3, 4 (ESV)

(…)¬†[L]et your light shine before others, so that¬†they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Matthew 5:16 (ESV)

(To know more about the Derek Sivers, you may visit his website here. Video courtesy of ted.com)

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